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Cher, Educator-40+ yrs
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My Father, who died in 1966, used the expression They did

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My Father, who died in 1966, used the expression "They did not know whether it was Peckham Rye or Thursday morning" when referring to someone who was in such a muddle that they did not know whether they were coming or going, as we would say now. Can you give me the origin of that expression?
Hello, and thanks for your interesting question.

"Peckham Rye" is Cockney Rhyming slang for a 'necktie', however, this originated from Peckham, an actual place, located in the London Borough of Southwark. From:

"Peckham Rye is a term that refers to:

I think the 'tie' reference originally came from the 'railroad ties' at the railway station.

Many rhyming Cockney expressions were/are used to refer to specific things, as explained here:

The expression you heard your father use sounds like it can be likened to an American expression (pardon my language): "He doesn't know his ass from his elbow", also indicating being in a muddle. If a person didn't know whether it was Peckham Rye (his necktie) or Thursday morning, yes, he didn't know if he was coming or going.

I hope this helped, and please let me know if you have any additional questions on this subject.

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